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FAQs

 

•  Who uses your services?

•  What kinds of work do you do?

•  I currently do everything myself. What's the point in outsourcing my work?

•  We already have a secretary. Why would we want to outsource our secretarial requirements?

•  Isn't it more expensive than taking on a secretary?

•  I'm miles away from you, how will it work?

•  What about the confidentiality of my work?

•  How long does it take to transcribe a tape or recording?

•  I've never dictated before. Do you have any tips?

•  I only want a couple of things typing. Will you do that?

•  I want my CV typing: can you do that?

•  How do we work together?

•  When will my work be ready?

•  How do you get the work to me?

  What if I find mistakes in the final copy? How are corrections and revisions handled?

•  Are you a 24-hour service?

•  Do I have to sign a contract?

•  How do you charge?

•  What is included in your charges?

•  How much can I expect to pay?

•  How is payment made?

•  What procedures do you have to protect and back-up my work?

•  What do you do about system security and computer viruses?

•  What software do you use?

•  Can I use your address as the address for my business?

•  How long do you keep my files on your computer?


Q: Who uses your services?

We have a wide range of clients from all walks of life and sectors of business – entrepreneurs, business consultants, doctors, lawyers, counsel, consulting engineers, coaches, executives, authors, market researchers, health services, insurance services, investigators, councils, and many more.

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Q: What kinds of work do you do?

Our available services are expanding all the time. At the moment we can offer:

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Q: I currently do everything myself. What's the point in outsourcing my work?

It depends how effective “doing it yourself” is. If you are spending time typing all your own material, how much money are you losing because you could be doing some chargeable work? Outsourcing the secretarial side of your work will free up valuable time, time which can then be spent on such vital things as:

Do you think you're a fast 2-finger typist? – Take the test!

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Q: We already have a secretary. Why would we want to outsource our secretarial requirements?

There are many reasons, here are some of the main ones:-

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Q: Isn't it more expensive than taking on a secretary?

No. When you hire an employee, on top of a salary or hourly wage, there are many other things you need to administer (payroll, pension, benefits, etc.); many things to buy or lease (equipment, furniture, etc.), and you'll need work space for them as well. It all becomes very expensive and time consuming.

Word for Word is a pay-as-you-go service – you use us only when needed and pay only for the work that is done. Although there can be an initial learning curve for us, we'll soon get to know the sort of work you do and how you prefer it to be presented – and we're there just whenever you need us.

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Q: I'm miles away from you, so how will it work?

We have clients from all over the UK – they find it easy to work with us because we work pro-actively with them. We can offer sound advice on how best to get your work to us, and we can advise on a digital solution for you. It's cheaper than you think and we are just a mouse click away. With the latest technology, distance is no object.

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Q: What about confidentiality?

We have long experience of working with confidential and sensitive material, and all our work is done on a completely confidential basis. We are voluntarily registered with the Information Commissioner under the Data Protection Act 1998.

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Q: How long does it take to transcribe a tape or recording?

People speak about 4 to 5 times faster than an experienced transcriptionist can type. Therefore, in general, a one hour audio recording, which is of good sound quality and well dictated, takes between 4 to 5 hours to transcribe. Therefore you should work on a 1:4/5 ratio for all recordings. Variables such as audio quality, number of people speaking, speed of conversation, foreign accents, overlapping speakers, poor microphone positioning, etc., will substantially increase the transcription ratio and make a marked difference in time taken to transcribe.

We do our best to transcribe everything and we research names and terminology not familiar to us. However, there are times when dialogue cannot be deciphered and we mark these as [IA] (inaudible). Sometimes a tape thought to be of good quality actually isn't, or the quality begins to deteriorate part way through. When that happens, it is simply not in your best interests for us to persevere in transcribing a poor quality recording. In that event we will always contact you to discuss how you would like us to proceed.

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Q: I've never dictated before. Do you have any tips?

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Q: I only want a couple of things typing. Will you do that?

Certainly. However, please bear in mind that our minimum charge is GBP 25.

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Q: I want my CV typing, can you do that?

We do not offer this service as there are specific businesses set up to do this type of work. We find that everyone seems to have a different idea of how their CV should look and what should be in it, to the extent that the final product can take hours to compose. We find people are unwilling to pay for that time as they see it simply as two or three pages of typed work. We suggest you search the Internet for “CV services” and see what comes up.

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Q: How do we work together?

We can work together by e-mail, ‘phone, fax or post, and our clients use all or some of these methods. For insurance reasons, we cannot receive visitors at our offices.

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Q: When will my work be ready?

At the beginning of the work we will always give you our best estimate of when we expect it to be delivered. The delivery estimate depends, of course, on the size of your job and work already in progress. Work is processed on a first-come, first-served basis. All sensible deadlines are usually met. We do understand that occasionally clients have very short deadlines or rush jobs and we do our best to meet these, but, as this may entail out of hours working and therefore a higher hourly rate, we would discuss this with you beforehand. We will always let you know as soon as possible if for some reason we could not meet the deadline we had agreed with you.

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  Q: How will you deliver the work to me?

You can receive the work in the way you prefer - via e-mail, on disk, hard copy only, posted.

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Q: What if I find mistakes in the final copy? How are corrections and revisions handled?

Typos or mistakes are corrected at no charge. However, if mistakes were made due to the client's incomplete instructions, the corrections will be made at the normal hourly rate. All other revisions the client wants to make will be charged at the normal hourly rate. The finished copy that is sent to the client for the first time is considered a draft and the client is responsible for final proofing. Corrections and revisions can be made until the client gives their final approval. If revisions are then required after final approval, the work is billed at the normal hourly rate.

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Q: Are you a 24-hour service?

No. Our services are available Monday to Friday from 9.00 am . to 5.30 pm . On exceptional occasions, for example if your work is very urgent and/or to a very tight deadline, it is possible to work outside these hours. If we do that it will need to be pre-arranged and the time will be charged at a higher hourly rate.

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Q: Do I have to sign a contract?

In general, no. However, for repeat volume business we do require a signature on our Terms and Conditions , which includes the preferred and agreed method of payment.

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Q: How do you charge?

Most of our work is charged on an hourly basis. Digital transcription is generally charged per minute of recording. If the work comprises straightforward copy typing, we charge per thousand words. See our rates page for further information.

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Q: What is included in your charges?

The price quoted includes the time taken to carry out the work and to proofread it. We also provide one printed black and white copy. Extra copies are available for an additional charge. Unfortunately, due to high colour printing costs, we have to make a charge for all colour printing.

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Q: How much can I expect to pay?

Please see our Rates page.

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Q: How is payment made?

By credit/debit card (currently only available via the online payment system paypal.com/uk ), GBP/Euro telegraphic transfer/BACS, cheque with valid bankers card, or cash. Monthly retainer accounts can be established under mutually agreed terms. We normally require payment on delivery for one-off projects.

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Q: What procedures do you have to protect and back-up my work?

Your work is saved on computer hard drive and a copy is kept off-site. Our anti-virus software is automatically updated whenever downloads are available. All of our outgoing e-mails and attachments are scanned prior to sending.

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Q: What do you do about system security and computer viruses?

We have regularly updated anti-virus software and our system is protected by a firewall. Of course, no system is completely infallible, but we do our utmost to ensure that all data is protected.

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Q: What software do you use?

We use the Microsoft Office package.

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Q: Can I use your address as the address for my business?

No, we do not provide this service at this time.

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Q: How long do you keep my files on your computer?

Your project files will be stored on our computer system for a minimum of one year. After one year your files will be moved to a disk copy and kept in your client file. We cannot guarantee that the disk copy will not corrupt with time. If you would like to have your own copy on disk we can provide this for a small fee. If after one year you decide that you wish your files to be deleted from our system, please let us know in writing and we will make sure that this is actioned.

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